Artists have ‘great day  of play’

Train of Thought artist Aaron Leon, left, local artist Derek Khani, and Pam Cain, with the Community Arts and Heritage Education Project, add linen to a giant fort created during an art workshop in Thunder Bay.

A group of 20 artists travelling across Canada as part of the Train of Thought program arrived in Thunder Bay on Tuesday.

The cross-country train ride was interrupted in Winnipeg and the group had to drive east to Thunder Bay because their is no passenger train service here.

Local artist Eleanor Albanese says the group will continue east from Thunder Bay by car and eventually get back on the train.

While in the city, the group met artists at the Baggage Building Arts Centre and took part in a day-long series of workshops combined with a story-telling tea party.

“We are blending the idea of a tea party with community building and storytelling,” says Albanese. “We’ve created story cards and each table of people received one. It’s a combination of an arts workshop and a tea party.”

Albanese said the Train of Thought concept comes from the Jumblies Theatre in Toronto, which is an organization that works strictly with community-engaged arts.

“The idea emerged for artists who work in the community ­like those in the Community Arts and Heritage Education Project,” says Albanese. “These artists take the train across the country and stop in different communities to offer a workshop in each community.”

The session began with the tea party that doubled as a storytelling workshop. The group also built a fort from linen and took part in a bead-in with the Walking With Our Sisters Group.

“It’s a really a great day of play and community building.” said Albanese.

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